Here is some brief analysis from the last 3 days of the World Cup.
1. USA/Slovenia - the majority of the post with focus on the wild US game from Friday. It's hard to know where to start.
The thing getting all the attention is the horrible call be the referee. It was BS. There is no other way to put it. It really didn't make sense. Was he anticipating a foul? Was it a make up call? Did he not want the US to win? Was the fix in? Was there something that none of the cameras caught? Lots of possibilities, but none of them really make sense. The ref sucked. Don't forget the handball yellow card on Robbie Findley that actually hit him in the face. Hmm.
It is a shame that the "no goal" is getting all the press when the game was so great. The US fightback was awesome, though they needed that fightback because the first half was pretty poor. Torres did nothing and there was a lack of energy. The roller coaster of emotions was pretty crazy. If you told me at half time that the final would be 2-2 I would have taken it in a heartbeat. I would have been elated. But the way things went down, it is hard to concentrate on the positive. You felt disappointed and empty.
Still all to play for, though. England's tie means all we have to do to advance is win, and we could even go through with a tie.
A few more thoughts-
- Donovan's finish was sick. He finally stepped up when we needed it.
-Bradley's goal was also very nice. I thought it was going over. It is so hard to control your shot when your body is starting to lean back. Awesome.
- Jozy Altidore is not good enough to be a successful international striker. He is young, and might get better with age, but he is just not good enough right now. Not enough pace, not enough confidence, not enough game awareness.
-Oguchi Onyewu was very poor. He has to take the majority of the blame for both goals. It was just his defensive performance either. He was terrible on the ball. All he did was just hoof the ball forward. Very poor. No confidence. I hope next game to see Clarence Goodson, Edu or even Borstein (Bocanegra in the middle) for Gooch.
-Also somewhat forgotten with the bad call and bad play from Onyewu was the great second hald performance from Jay Demerit. He was beasting in the second half, doing exactly what a center back is supposed to do - winning balls in the air, being aggressive and decisive.
-The second half subs helped, but I think it was more of the change in mentality that made the difference.
-Algeria: I'm super worried about this game. They looked good. They held the ball and passed very well. They have not scored yet, but I could easily see Algeria beating the US. We need to bring it from the start on Wednesday.
2.England - Unimpressive. I thought this was a team that could challenge for the Cup. England/Slovenia will be very interesting.
3. Group D - Group D is a fun one and I am glad it will come down to the last day with all the teams still having a chance. Australia looked better and Cahill will come out on Wednesday with loads of energy. Germany were beaten, but I think were the better team even after the red card. They attacked and had many chances, but now are obviously not world beaters. I would like to see an African side in the next round, but I think Ghana could possibly be the odd man out after everything is said and done.
4. Orange Crush - The Netherlands have looked good, not great, but that is all they needed so far and all you really need at this stage of the tournament. They are a contender, but this year, who is not?
5. Kaka - What a bitch! A d-bag for sure. The Ivory Coast player was also at fault, but still why was Kaka acting like that?
6. Drogba - This man has a broken elbow and is playing in the World Cup! Not only playing, but scoring and keeping his team in the mix.
7. New Zealand - New Zealand has the same number of points as England and Italy. Really? That is pretty wild. They have been very deserving as well. It is not luck or a fluke or just sitting back and hoping for a draw. They are a prime example of the parody of this year's tournament.
8. Defending Champs - Defending the World Cup is dreadfully difficult, but even so, Italy are doing a pretty poor job of it. I knew they were not a great side, but I thought they would have a pretty easy time in this group. Not the case. They are lacking creativity and a real goalscoring threat and don't get me started on the weak-ass diving.
What to watch for the next couple days:
Can Ronaldo and Portugal find some offense against North Korea?
How will Spain respond?
And more interestingly, how will Switzerland respond? They could hold the key to the tournament. All they need to get is a win and a tie to top the group and most likely send Spain up against Brazil in the second round. Very interesting.
With all the trouble on and off the field, who will start for France? Will it be all new people? Will they score? Do they still think they have a chance?
How will Mexico and Uruguay come out? Will they be happy with draw? It would make sense to want to win and avoid Argentina, but who knows.
Can Nigeria pull off an improbable turnaround? All they have to do is win and have Argentina beat Greece. That sounds very much in the realm of possibility.
The next two days look like they will continue the excitement. Can't wait!